Listening to what the tongue feels
First, drink some black coffee. Next, rub your tongue against the roof of your mouth. It should feel a little rough, like very fine sandpaper: the tiny bumps on your tongue, called papillae, are raised just enough to create friction against your palate.
If you now add cream to your coffee and try again, the sensation should be much smoother — almost velvety. A layer of fat and mucous is now coating your tongue, providing lubrication and preventing friction.
What you have just done was, until very recently, the most accurate method for evaluating the oral perception of fat — the precise degree of tongue-coating creaminess in milk, mayonnaise, or chocolate pudding.
posted by ennui.bz
on Feb 19, 2013 -
The Quietest Place on Planet Earth
Measured at -9.4dB, this is the quietest place on earth. There is a standing bet that anyone lasting 45 minutes in the chamber, in the dark, earns a case of beer of their choice. No one has lasted more than a half hour.
posted by sanka
on Mar 30, 2012 -
Physics tricks could create one-way soundproofing.
Materials that genuinely discriminate between the direction of light or sound might be possible, according to a new study. That could make for true one-way mirrors or for directional soundproofing—imagine, for instance, a wall through which sound can enter but not escape.
posted by Leisure_Muffin
on Apr 28, 2011 -
Audiophoolery: Pseudoscience in Consumer Audio
. You might think that a science-based field like audio engineering would be immune to the kind of magical thinking we see in other fields. Unfortunately, you would be wrong [...] As a consumerist, it galls me to see people pay thousands of dollars for fancy-looking wire that’s no better than the heavy lamp cord they can buy at any hardware store. Or magic isolation pads and little discs made from exotic hardwood that purport to “improve clarity and reduce listening fatigue,” among other surprising claims. The number of scams based on ignorance of basic audio science grows every day. Via.
posted by amyms
on Jan 11, 2010 -
See For Yourself
- Purves Lab's optical illusions web page with empirical explanations of familiar and unfamiliar illusions.
posted by nthdegx
on Nov 16, 2007 -
The Sound of a Distant Rumble:
Using monitoring devices originally intended to pick up the sound of nuke launches, researchers track the underwater noise generated by the December 26 (tsunami
Eerie audio file of the slowly-building roar is included on the page. (More info here
posted by numlok
on Jul 22, 2005 -